May 27, 2012
- Be Careful What You Wish For
- NW ballerina in a surprising Gothic mys...
- So You Want to Be a Fashion Designer
- The ultimate design behind our lives
May 27, 2012
In the 2008 movie “27 Dresses,” Kathryn Heigl’s character Jane is “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” She has kept all of those dresses, and in a memorable scene, she tries them all on. Some are hideous and some are just hilarious. I, too, have been a bridesmaid several times — seven. I have saved all of those dresses and keep them in a back closet with other special garments that I will probably never wear again. They are next to my wedding dress and a Hawaiian sundress that I bought and wore on our honeymoon.
None of the dresses were hideous or hilarious, but I liked some better than others. There was the slinky black one meant for someone who can rock a deep-V. And there was the sage green, raw silk number meant for a girl who doesn’t sweat like a marathon runner in silk (it was August!). But, I actually liked the lavender dress I wore for my sister’s wedding. For my friend Michelle’s wedding, the most recent, I got to pick the style, and that plum-colored dress fit better than any of the others.
I didn’t love any of my bridesmaid dresses, but I do love what they represented — momentous occasions for seven people that I truly love. Those seven brides are seven of the most important people in my life: My sister, my cousin, my sister-in-law, and four wonderful friends.
After all, being a bridesmaid is an honor and wearing a dress that someone else picks out for you that you will probably never wear again is part of the experience. For my own wedding, I chose lovely light blue dresses for my eight bridesmaids. I can’t tell you what happened to those dresses, but I doubt they’ve seen any cocktail parties.
I have no plans for my dresses. If my nieces want to play with them in a few years or wear one of them for a “vintage” Halloween costume that will be just fine with me. Until then, they will remain in that closet with other sacred garments, gathering dust and triggering fond memories.
Erika Weisensee, a writer and native Oregonian, lives in Milwaukie and teaches journalism and communication courses at the University of Portland.
Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Women's Report through weekly email updates:
Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.